UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson opens new £50 m MBDA missile factory in Bolton, according to a 2 July statement by UK Ministry of Defence.
An opening ceremony saw the Defence Secretary unveil a plaque to mark the completion of five years of work and £50 million worth of investment into the high-tech site, which has been labelled ‘the jewel in the crown’ of weapons firm MBDA.
According to local media, the new missile factory will be home to Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), Brimstone, Sea Ceptor, SPEAR and final assembly for Meteor Beyond-Visual-Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM).
Complex weapons being built there will go on to do everything from arming F-35 fighter jets to protecting British troops and Royal Navy ships, whilst the move to the site has seen 100 new jobs created.
Work at the site was given a boost just last April when the Defence Secretary signed a £400 million deal with MBDA to upgrade the ultra-accurate Brimstone missile to become compatible with Typhoon jets. That contract created around 130 new jobs and sustained a further 270 existing jobs at MBDA’s sites in Bolton, Stevenage and across the supply chain.
The Bolton factory also works on the Sea Ceptor missile, which entered service on the Type 23 frigates in May and provides a powerful shield against airborne threats for Royal Navy ships. Land Ceptor, from the same family completed its first successful firing trials in April 2018 as the future battlefield barrier launched from a vehicle on a Swedish test fire range.
According to the MBDA, the staff of new missile factory will ensure UK’s leading position in complex weapons and build key systems like Brimstone, CAMM, Meteor and SPEAR